Class 3B
Apr 01, 2016

About This Session

Design Thinking

Design Thinking (also widely known as Human-Centered Design) is a creative methodology based on deep empathy that places the human needs and limitations in a higher priority compared with other targets during all stages of the process.  It has been successfully used to design everything from products to spaces, services and organizations. Design Thinking has a structured methodology that includes several stages in a “double diamond” pattern where the first part of the process serve to define the problem (solving wrong problems is a most typical design pitfall), and then the second half of the process serve to find a solution to the problem.
The “double diamond” shape comes from the combination of divergent and convergent thinking phases:


In addition to this,  an important characteristic of Design Thinking is iteration.
Each phase of the process serve to deepen the understanding of the problem and can be used as an input for the next phase, in a spiral manner:


In-Class Exercise: Crash Course

Design Thinking is best learned through experience – this is why instead of the lecture, we will host a one-hour workshop which will guide them through all stages of a Design Thinking process. This exercise is based on a Design Thinking Crash Course devised by D-School of Stanford University. The results of the crash course can be seen below.

Organizing Teams

After the Design Thinking crash course students will be organized in teams to work on developing their ideas for the Superusual product.


Individually: Post Class Exercise

Please scan (or take photo) of the work you’ve done in class for the Design Thinking Crash Course exercise. Make a separate post.

Team: Develop and Post 3 POVs

As a team, take a second look at the observations you’ve made, and devise at least 3 problem statements (or points of view – POV). You should follow the methodology very similar to we used during Crash Course in class. I propose working in 3 phases, which should take you -as a team- a total of about 3 hours of work.

Dig Deeper
For every observation of every team member, the rest of the team should ask him/her the deep questions about the motivations and emotions (very similar to the 2nd part of Crash Course). Write down your new round of observations, and update the original post (the post where the original observations were posted). Ideally you would be working with PAPER observation sheets, and write down directly on paper.
The goal of this exercise is that our team help us to reveal stories, feelings and emotions that may have been hidden to ourselves while we were observing ourselves.
Hint: Be fast – for each observation, dedicate at most 2-3 minutes.

Reframe Card: Formulate Goals / Wishes and Insights
As a team, based on all of your observations, select the ones that seem most interesting and fertile for further investigations. Then formulate two lists that you should write down on Reframe Card (see below).
Goals/Wishes: As in our Crash Course, use verbs to describe practical and emotional needs that you deduced from some of the observations.
Insights: What insights – discoveries that can be used for later creative process, you found out based on these observations.
Remember that not all observations will be useful,  but some observation may result in multiple goals and wishes.
Group the Goals/Wishes with Insights that belong to the same topic, and list them on the Reframe Card.
Reframe Card: Write down all of your goals/wishes and insights on one (vertical) piece of paper in the following format:


POV Card: Articulate Problem Statements (POVs)
Similarly as we’ve done in class, work as a team to combine goals(or wishes) with insights to articulate problem statements. Problem statement (or point of view, same thing) should be short and concise, and actionable – something that you can actually address with design. Each team should produce at least 3 POVs.
POV Card: Write down all the POVs on one piece of paper, in the following format:


Post It To This Website
Create post with multiple authors, listing all the members of the team (see below on how to do this).
Then scan and upload your Reframe Card and POV Card there. You can post additional comments as text.


How To Post With Multiple Authors

authorsCreate a new post as you would do normally. You can start posting with the DCC account of any team member (doesn’t matter which one).
Then, when a new post editor is open, look around the screen for Authors section. It may be on the side, or below the text editor, and it looks like this:

Then, in the “Search for an author” box, start writing name of the second author, and select from the list that pops out.

Repeat for all members of the team.

If you don’t see Authors,  scroll up and reveal “Screen Options”, then check the Authors check-box:


Read/Watch This

Paul Bennet : Design Is In The Details

MUST WATCH: Great illustration how empathy-based design can be applied in architecture as well as product design. Paul Bennett explains that design doesn’t have to be about grand gestures, but can solve small, universal and overlooked problems.

Tim Brown Urges Designers To Think Big

Tim Brown says the design profession has a bigger role to play than just creating nifty, fashionable little objects. He calls for a shift to local, collaborative, participatory “design thinking” — starting with the example of 19th-century design thinker Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

IDEO Shopping Cart Project (21min video)

To demonstrate its process for innovation for an episode of ABC’s late-night news show Nightline, IDEO created a new shopping cart concept.

Process Guide To Design Thinking,  (PDF)
Introduction to Design Thinking process compiled at Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University.

Change By Design, a book by Tim Brown
A book on how design can be used not only to improve the every day utility of objects we might take for granted, but more importantly, how it can address larger societal issues such as health care, education, and economic opportunity in the developing world.


The Design of Everyday Things, a book by Dan Norman
A seminal book that has forever changed the field of design when originally released back in 1988 and is still equally relevant (look for the Revised and Expanded version). Anyone who designs anything to be used by humans — from physical objects to computer programs to conceptual tools — must read this book, and it is an equally tremendous read for anyone who has to use anything created by another human. It could forever change how you experience and interact with your physical surroundings, open your eyes to the perversity of bad design and the desirability of good design, and raise your expectations about how things should be designed.

Students' Work